July 29, 2013

Compost Bin

With the food scraps piling up in the fridge, taking up more space than the food, it was high time to make a compost bin. Given the number and variety of critters 'round these parts, protecting our compost is necessary if we want to have any of it left to feed the soil rather than the wildlife. This bin is super simple, only slightly more sophisticated than an unprotected compost heap.
It's 3 sides are discarded pallets of roughly identical size. They are fastened together in each back corner with angle brackets. Angle brackets are usually sold in packages of 2, along with the screws. We attached one bracket at each top corner and one bracket at each bottom corner. 
We stapled a 3ft x 10ft piece of hardware cloth (also called rabbit wire) around the inside of the bin, both to contain the compost and keep the critters out. 
After layering dried grass clippings, food scraps, a bucket of compost schlepped from our last place, and a bucket of soil inside our compost corral, I thought perhaps it would be good to put a base of sorts under the bin. Get that? After all the compost and happy worms were in the bin.

Because I am wired the way I am, I have been unable to take the tens of flat boxes from our kitchen cabinets to the recycling center. I just can't. Surely I will have countless ways to put all that cardboard to use. I removed the staples and tape from 3 heavy weight boxes, flattened them out, and lined the bin with them. The cardboard will eventually break down, but for now it provides a barrier between the cooking compost and the weeds underneath it.
The plan is to put a door on this thing, making it truly a bin. Again, we'll staple hardware cloth to the inside of the pallet serving as the door, mount the left side of the door to the bin with strap hinges, and put a hook and eye closure on the right side. Oh, and the door will be mounted slightly higher than the walls of the bin so that it has ground clearance to swing to and fro. That's it. Pretty easy, no?  

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